This question is about the way the world was before the Flood.

Bereishit Rabbah 34:11. Midrash Tanchuma, Bereishit 12. Seforno to Genesis 8:22 say that the world preceding the Flood was marked by abundance, health, and prosperity. The average human lifespan lasted many hundreds of years, and the climate across the globe was temperate and pleasant.

Rashi on the other hand says in Bereshit Chapter 5, pasuk 29: '... And the land was producing thorns and thistles when they sowed wheat, because of the curse of the first man (Adam), but in Noah’s time, it [the curse] subsided.'

So what was the status of the world before the flood? Was it a good place like the first paragrapah above mentions, or was it a bad place like Rashi mentions.

  • The midrash doesn't say anything that contradicts the Rashi as far as I can tell?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Jul 24, 2023 at 16:51

1 Answer 1


So basically, Rashi says that the name "Noach" means "rest" and he also says that Noach was the one who came up with farming equipment. Without this invention, the land would get all messed up with thorns and stuff, and it would be really hard to work on. But even though Rashi says this, it doesn't go against what the Midrash says about people living long and happy lives with lots of good things. What Rashi is trying to explain is that with the farming equipment, it made working the land a whole lot easier.

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